Expanding the reach of decision and communication aids in a breast care center: A quality improvement study
One academically based breast cancer clinic implements decision and communication aids as part of routine clinical care. This quality improvement study aimed to expand reach of these supportive materials and services with budget-neutral program changes.
We used program theory and continuous quality improvement to design changes to our program. We calculated reach as the number of new patient visits for which we administered decision and communication aids. We compared reach before and after the program changes.
Program changes included: reassigning program outreach tasks from over-committed to under-utilized personnel; deploying personnel in floating rather than fixed schedules; and creating a waitlist so service delivery was dynamically reallocated from overbooked to underbooked personnel. Before these changes, we reached 208 visitors with decision aids, and 142 visitors with communication aids. Changes were associated with expanded reach, culminating in program year 2008 with the delivery of 936 decision aids and 285 communication aids.
We observed over a fourfold increase in decision aid reach and a twofold increase in communication aid reach. We attribute increases to recent program changes.
This study illustrates how program theory and quality improvement methods can contribute to expanded reach of decision and communication aids.
Available from: Kate Eresian Chenok
- "Decision aids therefore address patient needs for orienting information. Communication aids include question lists , audio-recordings [4, 5], and after-visit summaries , which can be packaged into an integrated intervention delivered by a health coach , along with decision aids [8, 9]. Communication aids effectively address patient needs to rehearse their questions and concerns and review the content of discussion with the care team [10, 11]. "
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ABSTRACT: Despite evidence that decision and communication aids are effective for enhancing the quality of preference-sensitive decisions, their adoption in the field of orthopaedic surgery has been limited. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to evaluate the perceived value of decision and communication aids among different healthcare stakeholders.
Patients with hip or knee arthritis, orthopaedic surgeons who perform hip and knee replacement procedures, and a group of large, self-insured employers (healthcare purchasers) were surveyed regarding their views on the value of decision and communication aids in orthopaedics. Patients with hip or knee arthritis who participated in a randomized controlled trial involving decision and communication aids were asked to complete an online survey about what was most and least beneficial about each of the tools they used, the ideal mode of administration of these tools and services, and their interest in receiving comparable materials and services in the future. A subset of these patients were invited to participate in a telephone interview, where there were asked to rank and attribute a monetary value to the interventions. These interviews were analyzed using a qualitative and mixed methods analysis software. Members of the American Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) were surveyed on their perceptions and usage of decision and communication aids in orthopaedic practice. Healthcare purchasers were interviewed about their perspectives on patient-oriented decision support.
All stakeholders saw value in decision and communication aids, with the major barrier to implementation being cost. Both patients and surgeons would be willing to bear at least part of the cost of implementing these tools, while employers felt health plans should be responsible for shouldering the costs.
Decision and communication aids can be effective tools for incorporating patients preferences and values into preference-sensitive decisions in orthopaedics. Future efforts should be aimed at assessing strategies for efficient implementation of these tools into widespread orthopaedic practice.
Available from: Glyn Elwyn
- "Judged against the implementation model, 10 of the 17 studies were categorized as achieving “insight” (see Additional file 3, Table S2), four achieved a level of “change” [26,28,34,36], and none of the studies indicated that organizations had been able to achieve “maintenance” levels, where DESIs were in sustained use. This may be due to the barriers identified in the studies, which contributed to recruitment patterns that showed low interest in participation and in less-than-anticipated distribution of these interventions to patients. "
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ABSTRACT: Two decades of research has established the positive effect of using patient-targeted decision support interventions: patients gain knowledge, greater understanding of probabilities and increased confidence in decisions. Yet, despite their efficacy, the effectiveness of these decision support interventions in routine practice has yet to be established; widespread adoption has not occurred. The aim of this review was to search for and analyze the findings of published peer-reviewed studies that investigated the success levels of strategies or methods where attempts were made to implement patient-targeted decision support interventions into routine clinical settings.
An electronic search strategy was devised and adapted for the following databases: ASSIA, CINAHL, Embase, HMIC, Medline, Medline-in-process, OpenSIGLE, PsycINFO, Scopus, Social Services Abstracts, and the Web of Science. In addition, we used snowballing techniques. Studies were included after dual independent assessment.
After assessment, 5322 abstracts yielded 51 articles for consideration. After examining full-texts, 17 studies were included and subjected to data extraction. The approach used in all studies was one where clinicians and their staff used a referral model, asking eligible patients to use decision support. The results point to significant challenges to the implementation of patient decision support using this model, including indifference on the part of health care professionals. This indifference stemmed from a reported lack of confidence in the content of decision support interventions and concern about disruption to established workflows, ultimately contributing to organizational inertia regarding their adoption.
It seems too early to make firm recommendations about how best to implement patient decision support into routine practice because approaches that use a 'referral model' consistently report difficulties. We sense that the underlying issues that militate against the use of patient decision support and, more generally, limit the adoption of shared decision making, are under-investigated and under-specified. Future reports from implementation studies could be improved by following guidelines, for example the SQUIRE proposals, and by adopting methods that would be able to go beyond the 'barriers' and 'facilitators' approach to understand more about the nature of professional and organizational resistance to these tools. The lack of incentives that reward the use of these interventions needs to be considered as a significant impediment.
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ABSTRACT: Use of differential pulse code modulation to provide quantization of control and measurements in a closed-loop control system is examined. Expressions are derived for the quantization error and estimation error and for a stable state transition matrix these errors are shown to be stable. Simulation results are presented that demonstrate that the quantized control performance compares favorably with the unquantized optimal control solution.
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